I <3 The 80's...why yes I do

Most awesome achievement of the week...

wasn't even an Achievement...or a trophy but 
 getting 60th place on a not 100% performance on Chicago's Youre the inspiration in lips 
(which WAS shit and is now the greatest game ever until I come to my senses) 



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My badly written top 10 games of 2009!

 (and 10 more that I really enjoyed)  
I'm not going to put a spoiler warning on any of this because it is my blog and it is full of spoilers and I'm only mentioning this because of number 5 which hasn't been properly released yet... 
sorry about my bad sentencing and ramblyness.

 10 Bionic Commando (360)

After flip flopping between this and Modern Warfare 2 I finally settled on the game that satisfied me as a gamer the most, this is not to say that I find MW2 to be a bad game in fact it’s very, very good but the single player left me really cold and I finished it on veteran within three days of release with no Mile high/No fighting in the war room type achievements hanging over my head to mock me… on top of that Multiplayer whilst perfectly designed and a bunch of fun was giving me feelings of déjà vu… I just don’t feel the same way about a game   I felt I had already played for over four days in total playtime.

But this is not about Modern Warfare 2 this is about Bionic Commando a game with an absolutely fantastic swing mechanic, wonderful music, cool bosses and pretty challenging gameplay.

I have never touched the multiplayer…not even once did I go into the menu and still I love this game. It is by no means a perfect game with some incredibly frustrating battles later on and a plot that goes completely off the rails, but that’s not really the point. Bionic Commando feels like the evolution of 2D sidescrolling action adventure games. It isn’t meant to have any substance and is designed to feel a little arcadey. I love the weapons (even the peashooter pistol), I love how they’re limited because it forces you into playing unpredictably and using the arm in combat, and I really like the varied environments. In an age of pure shooters and open world games filled with moral choices that can be boiled down to good, bad, neutral I am thankful that   games like this get made, a game where its all about getting from A to B, beating bad guys and having fun whilst not pretending to be  anything other than a videogame.

Best moment – “you’ll just have to fuck it” line during the worm fight

9 Plants Vs Zombies (PC)


I HATE tower defence games so why do I love PvsZ?

I think I spent about 10 hours over the course of two days fending off an assortment of Zombies with mushrooms and sunflowers, my mind completely focussed on one thing and one thing only…. Wiping out every dolphin riding, traffic cone wearing, glass door holding evil zombie.   
I would make beautifully, symmetrical gardens which the zombies felt needed reworking and I wasn’t going to take it… these zombies had to die! So with a little help from crazy dave and excessive planting of sunflowers I set about destroying wave after wave of plant-hating undead.   
Not content with ruining my front lawn, my back lawn and pool they set about invading my rooftops where I would have to replace lost tiles… what kind of evil doer not only hates plants, but hates roofing also?... they had to be stopped…. Even an evil zombie scientist-king in an undead stompy mech could not stop me protecting my property…. All zombies must die!!!!

Best moment – There’s a zombie on your lawn song.

8 Shadow Complex (360)

There’s not really a lot to say about this game other than it being a love letter to Castlevania and Metroid games from the past. While being a lot shorter than say something like Symphony of the night it makes up for it with some great visuals, some cool little boss sequences and a million different upgrades and an emphasis on rewarding exploration. ( even if the   endless grenade upgrades are a teensy bit useless)

The shooting can be wonky but really you should be running at everyone and using one of the comical/awesome looking   one hit kill takedowns   even if they do make the game a little too easy on the normal setting, but they never get boring and net you way more experience than just shooting randoms in the face.  Part of me wants to say they could have charged a lot more than 1200 points for the game seeing as I got maybe 25 or so play hours out of it   and I enjoyed every minute exploring it’s underground caverns and factories.  Maybe next time we will get an inverted shadow complex after we have finished it.

Best moment – The first showdown with the spider tank.

7 KIllzone 2 (PS3)

Get this part out of the way first… I find the online multiplayer to be pretty good but in no way is it as fun or interesting as the Modern Warfare games.

Good job I absolutely love the single player then. I don’t know if the controls were patched or something   because I have read a million complaints about the controls and I played the game a good while after it came out and absolutely loved them, there is a lot more reliance on actual aiming with there being very, very minimal (if any?) autoaim. Everything about Killzone 2 has a real weight and momentum to it whether you are running, turning or throwing a grenade and to me felt really immersive and made all of the already intense gunfights just that little bit more ummm intense.

The story is utter nonsense and the character models while having beautifully animated movement sport really ugly faces but that’s not the point, the Helghast are so stylish and sinister looking and their relentless charge towards you make them a really great enemy to fight.  The guns all have such volume and sound appropriately like they were made for killing stuff alongside the constant stream of shouting and explosions coming from all angles and sounds absolutely superb.

After a lot of negativity I had read towards KZ2 I had quite low expectations when I popped the disk in but found myself having some of the best fun with an FPS in ages. The game is absolutely beautiful despite it’s same old, same old, grey, war torn city look   and easily a much better single player campaign than Modern warfare 2 in my opinion.

Best moment - The attack on your spaceship by the Helghast.

6 ‘Splosion Man (360)

An answer all the people that claim that a new 2D Sonic The Hedgehog is not a viable gametype.  ‘Splosion man gets the fast paced, almost-on-rails thing mixed with timed platforming sequences down to perfection.

I absolutely adore This game and experienced a very similar feeling to what I had after playing through portal for the first time. Clever Humour, Catchy songs and a ton of personality run through all 50 of ‘splosion man’s   frustratingly fun levels with some absolutely sadistic timed sequences you need to get down to perfection in a similar way you would play a music rhythm game.  It really does have that “oh, one more go” hook where despite dying for the 60 time you    feel you really must get through it  and getting through it is a must because if not you’re going to miss one of the strangest and absolutely brilliant videogame endings ever devised. Even more importantly the game has some absolutely fantastic songs like “donuts, go nuts” a song played on a Ukelele about how everyone loves donuts whilst using a fat scientist as a bullet shield. This song will play around in your head for days and the brilliant “’splode beneath my ‘splosion” ballad with the lyrics “”youre so ‘splosiony, youre the ‘splodiest, ‘splosion man” is a fine end credits song.   I Love ‘splosion man as a character with his brilliant animations for running and constant mad-person chatter about various meats and would really like a sequel although I am also really looking forward to next years Comic jumper from Twisted pixel.

Best moment – The Live action ending sequence/s

5 Bayonetta (PS3)

The PS3 one is all lyk broke n that…

You know what?... fuck you! This game is better than its technical problems a true masterclass in how to create a fast, fluid action game. Not once did I feel like my enjoyment was being ruined due to some lengthy loading times and   murky textures… what I was thinking was “This game rules everyone’s fuckin face” and “fuck yeah! This game is awesome” an absolute love letter to   Videogames with Okami, Resident evil, Mad world and even Halo references. The insane spectacle as you ride into space vertically up the side of a rocketship on a motorbike towards a god before manually blasting it past all the planets in the solar system into the sun is just one of those moments I punched the air…. But the screen tearing… Fuck you! I say... You have not experienced the games love of Space Harrier or the absolutely flawless combat system… but the framerate….   It doesn’t matter, I am jumping between timeshifting platforms and then putting an angel in a guillotene and then torturing a girl in a twisted   overtly sexual way before watching her explode into tiny meaty chunks and then shooting a cherub in the penis and riding up a giant plant-cherub monster   as a fucking PANTHER… all of the people that claim this is another Devil May Cry clone are waaaaaaaaaaaaaay off the mark, It’s perfect scores from magazines with it’s style and imagination are fully justified. No other game this year has strived so hard to go all out insane like this. And It works   because the combat is PERFECT, I just cannot   find any fault in it, the options given to you from the get-go are staggering   and the game can easily be completed just with the default guns (although the sword is much, much more devastating)

Very few games leave me with total satisfaction and the last game to do so was Metal Gear solid 4, Bayonetta is another one. I felt a little drained, a little bit like I wanted to punch the air again and a tiny bit dirty.

Best moment - You totally get to manually Headshot a dude in the face with your lipstick! Seriously… “DON’T FUCK WITH A WITCH!”

4 Resident Evil 5 (360)

I just cannot understand the hatred this game has started picking up just recently, It plays better than 4 (one of the best videogames ever made), It looks absolutely gorgeous and has some   absolutely fantastic setpiece moments a million other games would die for.

While  I understand the game doesn’t even come close to the greatness of Resident Evil 4 It still feels incredibly polished and any criticism about it not playing like Gears of War or any other of the million third person shooters out there seem incredibly petty. I really like the games stop-aim-shoot mechanic It makes fighting the hordes of infected enemies a lot more tense and enjoyable.

I do not mind the series shift to all out action we have Dead Space now if we want atmospheric scares   and I really like the games gun levelling system.   I like the way the game feels like your partner is the most valuble person in the world and while I know there are some A.I issues I have never run into them because I have always played with a   friend. I love that whole “he’s got me helphelphelp” feeling and the vulnerability you feel when the game forces you to split with your partner at various points. I like Sheva as a character and I really like the overblown, insane quicktime events usually involving Wesker. On top of that Mercenaries is the best it has ever been and it’s a shame they added that useless versus mode instead of adding a few more mercs maps…

And there’s an island full of chickens.

Best moment – The Wesker showdown in the cargo area of the plane. 

3 Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time (PS3)

This is THE best Ratchet and Clank game ever made. The balance between shooting and platforming is the best It has ever been.   The pacing and emotional impact of the story is better than any other game in the series, but more importantly it is not at the expense of the games humour.  This Game is easily one of the funniest games I have ever played and kept me consistently amused for the ten or so hours it took me to complete it.

I will be the first to admit I am the hugest Ratchet fanboy (totally even have the new figures on order)

But the amount of collectibles and constant rewards for clearing a planet or going an alternate path are someone with obsessive compulsive disorders nightmare/dream. Levelling guns is no longer a grind, explosions are prettier… there are no underwater sequences… I repeat, THERE ARE NO UNDERWATER SEQUENCES! The game has a perfect difficulty curve (not ratcheting it up a little too high like the first and third games do in their final levels)

It also features some brilliant new guns like the vortex ripper where an alien from another dimension shoots tentacles through a portal and snatches up and eats anything it is close to, tools favourite Mr Zurkon with a whole bunch more trashtalk and even a couple of little songs he sings whilst insulting/killing the local wildlife and finally the new RYNO 5 which plays Tchaichovskys 1812 overture whist dealing out death to anything and everything in it’s path!

Oh yeah and the Clank levels are absolutely brilliant and clever braidesque puzzles. If this is the last R&C game Insomniac ever make they really have left this series on a high.

Best moment – The rewinding time sequence where Clank needs to save Ratchet after being killed. 

2 Uncharted 2: Among thieves (PS3)

I really don’t have a lot to say about this game other than It sports some of the most gorgeous graphics, has one of the best videogame soundtracks ever and an engaging action packed story full of likeable and well thought out characters with a bunch of personality.

It’s very hard to say anything more about it, It fixes a lot of the first games very minor issues like bullet sponge enemies and has a better balance of action and platforming.

It does almost everything right and that is almost the most boring thing in the world to sum up. A game that’s flaws are tiny nitpicks like briefly not knowing the direction you’re supposed to be going in and rocket launcher spamming enemies, but when put next to everything the game does so right they’re not really worth noting at all.

Best moment - I really like the falling building/gunfight/helicopter sequence with you in it

1 Street Fighter IV (360)

I wrote a really long reason why I love this game in a journal using pens with ink and everything. All it really said after a lot of waffling was….

Street Fighter IV is one of the best videogames ever made…ever…. in the world ever!   


(<3 Chun-Li) 

10 Games I really, really liked but didn’t like enough to put them in a top 10 (and reasons why they are not in it.)

Batman Arkham Asylum – I love Batman, I love   Paul Dini, I love Mark Hammill as the joker and I love how the game really makes you   feel like Batman but there was something about   how the game would force you into these horrible fights against larger enemies that all had to be beaten in the same way. Even the last boss in the game felt like it was thrown in at the last minute as The Joker could never beat Batman in a fistfight.

Assassins Creed 2 – I Burnt through this in a dedicated weekend doing almost every side mission and collecting everything that can be found in this really detailed world, Ezio is a great character but once I was done I felt DONE, like I would never want to play this game ever again. (very similar feelings were had with the first game. It has a great ending and I will no doubt play the third game even if I had more issues with the platforming this time around.

inFAMOUS -   I feel the same about infamous as I do about AC2. The game is really fun and I collected/did everything you can in the game world but was left with mixed feelings about the way it played with some cheapo deaths and   a lot of glitching/falling through the world and some terrible facial animations. I loved the   comic book cutscenes and I was one of the few that really enjoyed Coles voice/acting. The combat is also very, very good even it would force you to take care of most situations in   almost identical ways.

Noby noby boy – This is the greatest preschool toy ever devised, absolutely hilarious to watch and a nightmare to control… It is not really a videogame.

The Beatles: Rock Band -   I LOVE this game! I really enjoy all the songs, have a load of fun doing the vocals but it was all over for me very early, the story mode is quickly beaten and the online is hugely flawed.(full of dicks) It is very hard to continue playing just this game when I have built up such a huge collection of songs all in the same place with Rock Band 2.

Modern Warfare 2 - see BC in top 10… Spec ops is great, not different enough from Cod4…. Would much rather play other games or Street Fighter IV online.

Halo 3 ODST -   Not the hugest Halo fan in the world but I found ODST to have a really tight and focussed campaign with a really nice atmosphere and some beautiful music. The lack of matchmaking in Firefight is the most pathetic thing ever in the year 2009 and I would probably have played a ton of it if it had featured it.

Katamari Forever – Probably the best Katamari game on the market if you had never played any of the other games but for someone as obsessive over the franchise as me it felt like there was too little new content and some really weak weird choices for remixes/songs and overly strict time limits on levels which made the game a tiny bit too demanding in places… and seriously, only two new cousins… that is kinda terrible.

Battle Fantasia – Beautiful looking, smooth playing game from the makers of Blazblue/Guilty Gear.It has some amazing story sequences like the power rangersesque Deathbringer sidestory. Unfortunately about five people bought this game so the online is dead and that is the worst thing ever in a fighting game.

It is also hugely imbalanced and when you do meet someone online expect it to be someone using Deathbringer and pressing the high attack button over and over and over again!

50 Cent: Blood on the sand -   This game is much more fun than most will expect. It’s a competently made shooter with a very good points/highscoring system and decent shooting/cover system. The game is over in about five minutes but the constant stream of ridiculousness coming out of Curtis Jacksons mouth in pursuit of his y’know, priceless, diamond encrusted skull and hatred of all thing helicopter has a kind of endearing quality to it…

 I am also fond of the song   on the soundtrack where he barks like a dog.

And jewels fly out of crates towards you like a sonic the hedgehog game….


Bayonetta (thoughts upon completion)


Hair Dragon is teenytiny compared to other hair monsters.

I love bayonetta, not just love it... but LOVE it !
Not because I am one of those "I was there first so I must gush about it in ridiculous ways to show how  awesome I am" but because those initial reviews of Bayonetta... famitsu's and Edge magazines perfect scores are completely spot on. 
As a fighting game in the same vein as Devil may cry, god of war and Ninja gaiden it takes all of their best ideas and boils them down to the core, the game isn't about a bazillion upgrades or buying a million different moves (not to say there isn't any to buy)  its about style, timing and memorization of  devastating combos. 
The tools given to you from the  beginning are all you need, there is some extra weapons  and charms with different effects but  they are all just there to  give the player a little more power  when the game starts throwing a stream of bosses at you like they were regular enemies. 
When you look at Bayonetta from  just the demo or  promotional videos you get the feeling that Platinum have just created a flashy oversexed version of Devil may cry but in reality they have crafted  an action game that feels like a love letter to why japanese games used to be the ones western developers wished they could make. 
It feels pretty hard skirting around why the game  feels like that because I really don't want to ruin any of the surprises for people if they are going to play the game. At its core it is about the arena based fights and gaining medals  for how well you did but  I was not expecting there to be  as many puzzle and platforming elements as there is. The game has a lot of shifting plane stuff like say ratchet and clank or mario galaxy and some basic use of slowing time to get past certain obstacles along with some vehicle sequences, one of which is a little too long and another a breathtaking "FUCK YEAH!" moment  very near the end. 
Bayonetta is weird, everything about it is so strange, the story, the cutscenes, its sense of humour. it feels a little  like  all the developers put their sexual fantasies up on a white board and then stared at them so long that what was once a joke became the outline for a new videogame. There is some really messed up sequences with angels touching theselves inappropriately and light bursting forth from them (this is a minor spoiler )  I felt a little dirty witnessing some of the  naked-lady  poledancer moves on screen... and there is a LOT of it.  
I giggled a lot throughout the game and that seems intentional, nothing about the game is played straight, even the big emotional sequences seem like they have their tongue firmly in their cheek right next to a brightly coloured lollipop. (the games item of choice) 
While I have said almost nothing of the content of the game because it is best  witness first hand I can only really talk about the combat stuff which everyone can get their hands on by playing the demo, If that stuff is not your cup of tea then I doubt you could be persuaded that this really is one of the best games of it's type.. no... THE best... God of war III seems like more of the same , albeit more of the same of what is a very fun game but there is no way that game could even come close to Bayonetta, a fountain of creativity with everything amped up to maximum , it's apparent love for all things to do with videogames  and  mishmash of  game mechanics make it quite hard to put into words why the game is one of the best games I have  played in the last couple of years... 
if it was a movie... it would be Crank 2 
but with more magic. 
and you can turn into a panther.... 
and a flock (?) of bats.... 
and you shoot a cherub in the end of its penis and it explodes...

A small blog to remind myself why Brutal Legend is a bad game.

This game is bad... It cheated me out of 20 points 
story is ok, the metalness is great, the cameos are great, the music is great, the writing is great ....
How did they fuck up so badly with the gameplay... and not just the RTS stuff. 
its a game with action sequences where you can be killed by attacks you cannot even see!  

driving off a cliff because the brakes on your car do not work can jump you back  all the way across the map regardless of whether of not the game saved somewhere along your journey.  

 the RTS stuff does not work right 
it is broken! 
man, I love Rob Halford.
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What the hell!? (First impressions of Bayonetta.)

Today I recieved my Japanese import copy of Bayonetta in the post and nothing, NOTHING could have prepared me for the high levels of insanity I was about to witness. 
and I have seen a lot of anime... A LOT!   

Boring stuff out of the way 
* The game really  does have some wonky Textures, framerate and strangely low definition graphics on the PS3 
* there seems to  be a few sound issues here and there. 
* camera is  a little all over the place during the more platformy/puzzle sections 
* Horribly long loading times (up to 30 seconds  after dying) 
strangest thing... 
* A japanese copy of the game automatically defaults to english... menus, subtitles...everything It makes me wonder why the game isn't out in the rest of the world already.... probably one of the most import friendly games ever on the PS3 
Now the good stuff.. I am up to chapter three (of eleven it seems)and I am about two and a half hours into the game and I have successfully  spun a double headed dragon in a house, danced like a stripper whilst a man made me the tiniest cocktail ever and shot angels out of the sky in a shooting gallery...amongst other things. 
* fighting is really tight, like really... if you have played the demo you will get a good idea of how it plays.. I think it has a lot more depth than the Devil may cry games but  gives you a lot of room for improvisation using the witch-time/slowdown dodge button. It never feels unfair, if you died you probably died because you were button mashing. That said, a lot of the combat revolved heavily abround that backflip...moreso than any of the guns at this early stage in the game. 
* The narrative is bonkers, utterly insane. A  weird mishmash of unsexy, sexual innuendo, all out strangeness and inappropriate quips... I have not laughed at/with a videogame like this in a long, long, long time. 
* Flashback...cutscene...QTE...puzzle .... FIGHT!... The game so far has given out a lot of variety even if that just means mixing up where the combat takes place... there have been a few points where it has shifted to a different wall/ceiling mid fight and it tooks really awesome fighting strange looking angel things on the side of a big gothic church. 
* it has this cool style thing going on.. the music is TERRIBLE in the same way Nicholas Cage movies are so terrible that you would not want it any other way... strange J-pop-jazz and numerous badly sung renditions of "fly me to the moon"  
* So much shit going on!... theres menu's inside of menus, a witch-potion mixing minigame thing, super-bullet-witch-time-shooting-gallery-GO! time! 
I haven't even looked at any of the weapon upgrades and fancy stuff in the gates of hell shop (partly due to the games massive loading time when entering it) 
I will write more in depth views on the game after I beat it. I am really curious to see what the hell is going to happen because I haven't even turned into a bat or a cat or a rat or probably something else that mill make my brain go pop, this game is WEIRD! and I really arent sure how people in the west will react to it, it is like the Devil may cry cutscenes cranked to eleven  at all times. and for that I am really thankful.  I breath of fresh air to games in this genre.  
... on a smaller note.. I dropped brutal legend down to easy... that game is not very much fun at all!


Ratchet & Clank : A Crack In Time Plusses & Minusesusesessssss

My English skills are not good enough to write a full review on the game so I'm just going to condense my thoughts on R&C into simple plusses and minuses. 
Some thing You should know though... 
A. I am a huge, huge, huge Ratchet and Clank fan and bought  a PS3 for tools of destruction. 
B. Up your arsenal was the best game in the series until now. 
C. I believe Tools to be the weakest of the Insomniac made games by a mile. 
D. The graphics in this game... and the last game and the game before that are NOT fucking "Pixar standard" 
+ The game looks stunning, absolutely beautiful 
+ the first ever orchestral score in a R&C game is really rather good 
+ the story balances the comedy and epic storyline perfectly 
+ the platforming and the shooting are the most balanced  they have been since the first game 
+ Mr Zurkon is  one of the greatest game creations/weapons ever 
+ the braidesque clank levels are perfectly designed and just the right side of challenging 
+ the game demands much, much less grinding than any other R&C game. 
+ the writing and acting is as top notch as always  
+ my blaster runs hot 8 bit robotronlike arcade game
+ the final boss is really cool  
+ fun trophies...even funner skill points 
+ the radio trailer for "UNICOP"... he's half Cop and half unicorn y'know
+ the weapon advertisements are a whole bunch of ren & stimpyesqe.   
+ the game really knows how to constantly stream rewards at you. 
+ the game gives many incentives to seek out secrets 
+... I <3 Clank. 
- sometimes the hoverboot jumps are a little wonky. 
- the arena isn't as good as it has been in previous games 
- not as many story planets as previous games 
- gadgets required for  puzzles on previous planets are kept to a minumum which makes explotration  not as exciting.  
and on a personal trophy hunterish note... 

- finishing challenge mode on normal does not unlock the hard trophy meaning I need to level up all my weapons again bleh. 
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<3 Cencoroll!

This Doesn't belong on my gaming blog on Giant Bomb but y'know I neglect my ranty Livejournal way too much to post this there... 
anyways Cencoroll, A 26 minute one off anime film/short/thing about a monster and his friend is absolutely, wonderfully brilliant, it's not often that  An anime show gives me that sense of wonder and weirdness I used to get before I got jaded by every single show released.... 
Definately shades of FLCL in there. 
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Online annoyances.

I never thought  I would have come across the kind of behaviour I have in a game like Beatles Rock band but today after deciding I had neglected what is an awesome game for far too long I was met with more dickish behaviour than I would have Liked to or thought possible from such a family friendly game. 
Today I played the game for about three hours and in that time I have been kicked numerous times for playing instruments on medium, been called a "fucking retard" because I haven't bought any DLC and repeatedly told that I'm picking the wrong songs when it's my turn to pick (If I play she's so heavy one more time I may explode!) 
To be honest I think Harmonix did a really, really lazy job with the online as there doesn't seem to be any way  to get matched with people that wish to play the game casually on medium or easy meaning that you get lumped with a lot of people with elitist attitudes that kick you if youre not going to play it on hard or expert. 
It also doesn't help that it doesn't let you set up your own game to make sure that you are the host to prevent yourself from getting kicked all the time... it is seemingly random who gets to be the host from what I have noticed. 
I just dont get it, I want to have fun with the game but my skills do not extend to anything other than medium on the guitar and bass (I can do them on hard but it seems like I struggle so much that it loses a lot of it's fun) and easy on the drums and that is not good enough for nearly everyone else  because as soon as I have played one song on medium all of the expert players leave or I get kicked...what happened to just having fun playing videogames?... especially a game like Rock Band.... FUCKING BEATLES ROCK BAND.. a game that should unite all ages and levels of play. It's actually pretty disgusting the more I think about it and I wish it hadn't left such a bad taste in my mouth. 
also... in three hours It took so long to get a full band of four that I eventually just switched to the singing...which I can do on a mixture of expert and hard, But thats not really the point. I just wanted to play some awesome songs and relax but instead realized that no matter what game you play  online there is always someone that wants to suck all the fun out of it...